NAIOP Massachusetts was proud to support yesterday’s inaugural events welcoming Boston’s 54th Mayor, Martin J. Walsh. The day was filled with inspirational speeches, musical performances and hope for the future.
During his inaugural address at Boston College, Mayor Walsh outlined his priorities including creating jobs, improving public safety, ending gun violence, and strengthening Boston’s schools.
NAIOP looks forward to working with Mayor Walsh and his team on the many issues affecting the commercial real estate industry and economic development overall. Among other things, NAIOP will provide input on the proposed changes to the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the need for more affordable and middle-income housing, and improved workforce training programs.
Ed Glaeser just penned an op-ed in The Boston Globe entitled “Fix BRA; don’t break it.”
With all the campaign talk about the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s problems, it is sometimes easy to forget what it does well, and all that it has accomplished for the benefit of the City, its businesses and residents. Sometimes, a scalpel is preferable to an axe!
Glaeser’s short list of do’s and don’ts are right on target:
Above all, don’t make it harder to build.
Don’t imitate other cities blindly.
Don’t give neighborhoods a veto.
Don’t create an agency that has too many objectives.
Don’t make a fetish of agency independence.
Do increase independent oversight.
Do set up clear rules.
Mayor-elect Walsh is very fortunate to be coming into office with a healthy business environment. Projects under construction or permitted and ready to go and are at an all-time high. The key is to maintain predictability and keep this momentum going. By working with developers and the community leaders that have valid concerns about growth in all of the neighborhoods, reasonable changes can be made to the permitting process.
The goals of that discussion should be to provide permitting rules that are transparent, consistent, timely, and predictable. We have a great City and we all benefit from thoughtful, well planned growth.
The Boston Mayoral election upon us. No matter who wins the race, either City Councilor John Connolly or State Representative Marty Walsh, we are all in for a dramatic change after the 20 year term of Tom Menino.
With the city experiencing one of its greatest growth spurts, businesses will want to know what this choice will mean for them starting January 1st.
I sat down with George Donnelly and Jon Chesto, Boston Business Journal’s editors,and Sam Tyler President of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau‘s Sam Tyler, to interview these two candidates separately, questioning them on their competing visions of what’s best for business, economic growth and Boston’s future.